Category Archives: Beyond the Bullet Points

It is hard in an hour long presentation to explore all the implications and aspects of participatory librarianship. Often times big ideas must fit into a single bullet point on a slide. I’m planning to post some deeper explorations of the pithy points. If there are some you like to make, or some that made you scratch your head, let me know.

Last Man Standing: How to Kill Public Libraries

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I don’t normally talk about library types. For me all libraries (really librarians in all contexts) serve a community, be that a community of citizens, students, faculty, lawyers or what have you. There is more that binds librarians together than separates them. That said, I have heard of a special set of concerns surrounding public…

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I’m Better…Now What?

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[TL;DR version: I’m fine, but we all need to be better] My good friend and colleague Jill Hurst-Wahl asked me to write a bit about my current state of health. I think she is tired of letting folks know I’m fine now, have been doing some travel, and not stuck in a bubble. I feel…

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Radical Librarians in Ferguson and Beyond

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A militarized police force – clad in body armor, helmets, and camouflage – shot rubber bullets and tear gas at the protestors. Children huddled in their houses, unable to sleep as their parents took turns watching the front doors for trouble, their father sitting next to a baseball bat just in case. The government called…

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Ferguson Library

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I have never been to Ferguson. I have never been to the Ferguson Library. I love the Ferguson Library. Go look at this page: http://abcnews.go.com/US/ferguson-library-refuge-adults-children-amid-strife/story?id=25050930 Now read this: http://johnbeaudoin4.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/the-library-of-solace/ I read these right after re-reading my book Expect More for an upcoming project that starts with the Arab Spring and the modern Library of Alexandria…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: PET Scans and Water

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I tell you the following story of what happened to me today to: To amuse the twisted and snarky As a cautionary tale for those who seek to serve To let those following my health know about the results of my PET scan Normally when you get a medical test, you get a result. Often…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: When will the Mission Die?

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I asked my doctor how I would die. Her answer was that If this treatment didn’t work we had more treatments after that and another treatment after that and still more tries after that. And if all that doesn’t work no one dies in pain. None of this, of course, answered my question which is…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: A New Year’s Wish

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I have no more use of resolutions. Last year I resolved to keep the weight off that I had lost during my “mystery ailment” from the months before. I succeeded, but only because gaining weight is not a real problem during treatment for cancer. So for this year, instead of making a resolution I will…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: For the Syracuse LIS Class of 2013

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It’s four in the morning and I should be asleep. Commencement starts in 5 hours, but chemo is keeping me awake. I was planning on writing a general message to new LIS graduates, but it just kept feeling overblown and preachy. Instead I’d like to direct my comments to this year’s graduating class of library…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Rock Stars

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Editorial note. After having a great conversation with folks on twitter it became apparent that I devalued youth librarianship out of hand. I apologize for that and it was not my intention. I have noted the edit below. I got the call while I was in the Apple store (surgical mask firmly in place to…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Irony and Lymphoma

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Today I start chemotherapy. I realize for those who follow this blog that statement might come as a shock, it certainly does me. A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was in good health following seizures and illness in the fall. Perhaps the post was tempting fate. Last week I was admitted to…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Missing the Point and 3D Printing

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OK, the post by Hugh Rundle (http://hughrundle.net/2013/01/02/mission-creep-a-3d-printer-will-not-save-your-library/) has gotten some attention. Most of it expected…bleeding edge folks think we need them, plenty of folks think they are unnecessary or not ready. However, all of these arguments miss the point in my opinion, because they are all grounded in the concept of library as collection with…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Stand Up and Act

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I write this as a parent, as a teacher, and as a librarian. There is a conversation this country must have. A conversation about guns. A conversation about mental health. A conversation about how we protect our children, a conversation about civil rights, and a conversation about the role of government in all of this.…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: IFLA Code of Ethics

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IFLA just released “IFLA Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers” (you can read it here http://www.ifla.org/files/faife/publications/IFLA%20Code%20of%20Ethics%20-%20Long_0.pdf) and to call is disappointing is putting it mildly. There are few documents that so clearly represent a collection centric worldview. That is, libraries are collections, and librarians jobs are about maintaining (and circulating) that collection.…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Bullet Points

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I was recently asked for tips on giving good presentations. I’ve been asked this on several occasions, so I thought I’d share. Please be aware most of this was composed on a train from Amsterdam to Tilburg, so I don’t claim it has been thoroughly thought through. There are a ton of sites on making…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Libraries are Obsolete

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As promised, here is the argument and my own rebuttal from the Harvard event. Special thanks to Meg Backus, Jill Hurst-Wahl and all the great librarians who helped me put this together. I am putting this up in a sort of drafty form because I am interested in how the argument and counter-argument can be…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: I Love Reading…No Really

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A few weeks back Lane Wilkinson put together a nice thoughtful piece on the Little Free Libraries. While he and I don’t see eye to eye on everything he always makes me think and I have great respect for his point of view. This time he got me thinking about fiction, and the role of…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Bad Libraries Build Collections, Good Libraries Build Services, Great Libraries Build Communities

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Here is the tweet that led to this post: “Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services (of which a collection is only one). Great libraries build Communities” Due to character limits it was often re-tweed without the parenthetical: “Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services. Great libraries build Communities” Let’s face it, this…

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Expect More

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It’s time for the end of the year post. You know the one filled with lists, lessons, and proposals for the future. I would not want to buck the system. So let’s start with some lists: Rome Florence Salzburg Visby Stockholm Munich This is a list of international cities I visited as part of conferences…

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